By Adam Martin | | 10 mins
UFC Vegas 54 Odds, Picks & Predictions For Rakic vs Blachowicz
UFC Vegas 54 goes down this Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are 11 fights set for Saturday’s event, including an intriguing five-round main event between top-five light heavyweight contenders Jan Blachowicz and Aleksandar Rakic.
Aleksandar Rakic vs Jan Blachowicz Odds
|Aleksandar Rakic | -195||Jan Blachowicz | +165|
Odds accurate as of publication and via DraftKings.
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Rakic (-195) vs Blachowicz (+165) Betting Predictions
The main event of UFC Vegas 54 is a five-round light heavyweight matchup between rising contender Aleksandar Rakic and former champion Jan Blachowicz. Rakic is a -195 favorite on betting sites, with Blachowicz a +165 underdog. I’m picking the favorite Rakic to get his hand raised here.
At age 30, Rakic is in his prime right now and he has all the makings of a future UFC champion. He is 6-1 overall in the UFC and he is coming off of two huge wins over former title challengers Thiago Santos and Anthony Smith. Although Rakic has been criticized for going the distance in his last few fights, he fought smart and didn’t take much damage in those bouts.
He also showed that he could take the fight to the ground if needed, and he has good striking, too. I like everything that I see about Rakic, except for his lack of striking output at times, and I believe he will fight for the title in the next two years.
Blachowicz is a former champion and he has been an elite fighter in this sport for several years now. It was only last year that he beat Israel Adesanya, a win that looks great on paper. However, he got completely washed by Glover Teixeira in his last fight. Teixeira is an elite grappler, but seeing Blachowicz lose in the first round was concerning.
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At age 39, he might be finally showing some signs of age. Blachowicz is a fantastic fighter, and he still beats the majority of light heavyweights in the UFC, but Rakic is a tough opponent for anyone. Blachowicz certainly has the tools to beat Rakic, but it does feel like he’s the clear underdog in this bout.
Rakic and Blachowicz are two elite light heavyweights, and both men have a realistic chance of winning this fight. That being said, I’m going with Rakic on my sports betting app. He’s in his prime and he has more momentum heading into this fight, and I believe he has what it takes to edge out a decision. Give me Rakic to win at -195 and Rakic to win by decision at +225.
The Pick: Aleksandar Rakic at -195 with DraftKings
Alternative Pick: Aleksandar Rakic wins by decision at +225 with Caesars Sportsbook
Other UFC Vegas 54 Best Bets
Davey Grant (-300) vs Louis Smolka (+250)
Another important fight on the card is a bantamweight bout between veterans Davey Grant and Louis Smolka. Grant is a -300 favorite and Smolka is a +250 underdog, and I feel pretty confident that the favorite Grant wins this fight.
Although Grant has lost his last two fights, you have to look at those bouts more closely. The first loss came against Marlon Vera, who is one of the best bantamweights in the world, and it was a competitive fight. The other loss came against Adrian Yanez, who is one of the best prospects in the division, and again, it was a very close fight. Prior to that, Grant had won three straight fights, including two by knockout. Even though he is 36, he is arguably fighting in the best form of his career right now. It’s nice to see the old dog learning some new tricks.
Smolka is also a long-time veteran of the sport. At age 30, he’s younger than Grant, but he appears to be losing a step. Smolka is 3-3 over his last six fights and he has had trouble stringing together a winning streak. Although he has shown some good power and submissions at times, he has also displayed flawed defense. He can still end fights himself, but the fact he has been finished in his last three losses is concerning to me, and I believe he’s on the decline.
This should be an exciting fight for as long as it lasts, but after seeing Smolka brutally knocked out by Vince Morales in his last outing, I can’t pick him against someone like Grant who also has power. Give me Grant to win this fight as a -300 favorite, and I believe he can win this fight by TKO at +100.
The Pick: Davey Grant at -300 with DraftKings
Alternative Pick: Davey Grant wins by TKO at +100 with Caesars Sportsbook
Manuel Torres (-125) vs Frank Camacho (+105)
Also on the main card is a lightweight bout between UFC newcomer Manuel Torres and veteran Frank Camacho. Torres is a -125 favorite, while Camacho is a +105 dog, and I’m going with the UFC rookie Torres to win the fight.
Torres is making his debut in the Octagon fresh off a first-round TKO win on Dana White’s Contender Series. To be fair, the stoppage was early, but the fact the UFC signed him anyway shows that the promotion’s matchmakers see his potential. Looking back at Torres’ run in Mexico before joining the UFC, you can see the natural talent. He has sharp striking and slick submissions, making him dangerous anywhere the fight goes. At just 26, he’s still young and getting better. That being said, the UFC is a different beast than the regional scene.
It looks like Torres has been given a favorable matchup as Camacho has not been impressive in the UFC. He joined the promotion back in 2017 and he has just a 2-5 record since then, failing to win since 2019. Although Camacho has some nice striking skills and he can land a takedown every now and then, he has very poor striking defense. He absorbs 7.31 significant strikes per minute, which is a very high rate. No wonder he has been knocked out in two of his last four fights, including an awful TKO loss to Justin Jaynes in his last fight when he was a -300 favorite.
By the way, that fight was almost two years ago, so Camacho is coming off a very long layoff. Although he’s only 32, he has been fighting since 2005, so he has a lot of wear and tear on him. Given those factors, it’s very hard to back Camacho.
Instead, look to fade Camacho here against a talented prospect in Torres. Give me Torres to win the fight at -125, and I believe he can even win inside the distance at +100.
The Pick: Manuel Torres at -125 with DraftKings
Alternative Pick: Manuel Torres wins inside the distance at +100 with Caesars Sportsbook
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